Why Bengal’s local trains are lifelines to the educated unemployed
- Among people pushed out of formal jobs due to the pandemic, some are taking to selling goods on Bengal’s local trains, even if it is prohibited.
KOLKATA : Anand Jha, 28, has a clear memory of the day he launched himself as a railway hawker. He woke up at 3 am, swiftly made tea — a skill that he had honed while working at his father’s tea stall since the age of 10 — poured it into the new thermos flasks he had bought for ₹2,200, and headed to West Bengal’s Uttarpara railway station. At 3.40 am, he boarded the local train. Soon, the initial optimism wore off, and he returned home in slightly over an hour. “This is not something I can do. I quit," Anand remembers telling his mother.